Review : An Heir Comes to Rise by C.C. Peñaranda

« Don’t make your gifts a curse. They are what you make them, not the other way around. »

An Heir Comes To Rise by C.C. Peñaranda released through Lumarias Press

Spoilers ahead

In the impoverished outer town of a kingdom where fae outrank humans, Faythe, an orphan with a talent for swordplay, knows the importance of keeping her head down around the fae patrol. She and best friend Jakon long for a better life, and her desire to swing her sword in combat may bring the purpose and coin she’s yearned for.
When she draws the attention of royal guard Nik, she soon learns that her mortal nature isn’t the only reason to remain out of sight. Nik is a Nightwalker, a silent assassin of the mind with the power to enter others’ dreams, and whether she trusts him or not, he’s about to awaken abilities in Faythe that shouldn’t exist in a human. Nightmarish abilities. Deadly abilities. Abilities that will teach Faythe blood really does run thicker than water…and if she doesn’t trust in higher powers soon, blood will run indeed.
For this is no battle Faythe can fight with steel. Within the city walls, suspicions are arising, and here in the outer town she has deeper bonds to protect. It seems everyone will die with a dark secret to tell, but what if one unlikely human girl was born harboring the darkest secret of all…?
In a clash of steel, a mortal body may fall. But in a clash of dreams, a powerful heir may rise.

Characters :

Faythe : We discover Faythe, a nineteen-year-old shop assistant at a bakery, trying to make ends meet in an impoverished town. She’s also good at swordplay as she’s been facing her childhood friend, Jakon, for years with sticks.

Gods, she wouldn’t be of much help, but she would damn well try to intervene. Against man, against fae, against the damned Spirits if need be—she would fight for those she loved.

She may seem like a normal human, but she has been able to feel people’s emotions and even thoughts. At night, she can’t seem to sleep soundly and it has been weighing on her ever since. However, one night, she gets into a Nightwalker’s mind she met a few hours earlier and realises she may have magic powers like the oppressive faes. Fortunately, the fae is interested in her ability as such a thing has never been seen in a human. This will set off a chain of dangerous events which will change her and those around her.

I have kind of liked Faythe. She’s quite emotional and her relationship with Jakon and his girlfriend Marlowe was great to read ! I’ve found her relationship with Nick a bit too easy but Peñaranda added more depth to their relation. She is a fierce woman who only wants to protect those dear to her, and that’s why she’s been learning to defend herself. She doesn’t want to feel the uselessness when her mother was killed about ten years ago.

Let’s talk about the secondary characters !

At first, I thought Jakon to be a simpleton because he didn’t react to Faythe’s clumsy attempts at staying at home or leaving them when she had to go elsewhere. But my opinion of him gradually increased over the book.

For Malowe, I loved her supportiveness and her relationship with Jakon. She did not particularly stand out in the book.

Finally, Nik ! I’ve liked him and I haven’t had any problems with him. He was strong, clear-headed, and intelligent.

Story :

The story is about Faythe’s everyday life. And I guess that’s why it’s a bit weak. It reads more like a prologue with the last 100 pages picking up. But it has interesting ideas !

“In Ungardia, not even dreams were safe.”

The world-building was immersive and I hope we’ll see more during the second book. There are two cities, one for humans and the other for faes. Faes are powerful, good-looking, oppressive while the humans are the victims. But Faythe is part of a bloodline who is also able to use magic, one more powerful than most of the Nightwalkers, and she’ll rise to protect those dear to her.

An Heir Comes to Rise is an interesting book but it did not grip me as much as I would have liked. Sometimes, the plot felt a bit too convenient and some of Faythe’s reactions irked me. However, the book had a good pace with fast and slow moments. The magic system is interesting and I think it will be further developed in book 2 ! It had some plot twists (one of which was rather evident but other much less so).

Note : 3.5 sur 5.

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